Reading Reflection: A few Chirps About Twitter
It was very interesting to learn more about the usage characteristics of Twitter not only in the United Stated, but around the world. The authors in this article examined the user geographical spread and then they compared the results. They use both crawl and time-line datasets.
In the results obtained, it was noted three groups; users that have a larger number of followers than they themselves followed (this can se as a behavior of broadcasters of tweets), the second group acquaintances that exhibit a reciprocity in their relationships like the one given in online social networks, and the third group which follow a much larger number of people than they have followers (they have the characteristics of spammers, stalkers or evangelist, who will contact everyone in hope that some will follow them) of course this group are not among the top tweeters. In regards to the third group, I have to say that I have encountered that this spam or stalking behavior is a true problem -I was automatically follow anyone who was followed me- not a very good idea due to these third group of individuals who will spam or stalk you using Twitter.
It was also very interesting to learn that Twitter was written using an open source software (Ruby on Rails). This was a real eye opener as I learned that not everything that has success needs a large amount of money invested.
in addition, by comparing the domain information in the URLs with the UTC offset they were able to see the popularity on twitter in different countries. They found that after the United States the top-10 countries are Japan, Germany, U.K., Brazil, Holland, France, Spain, Belgium, Canada, and Italy. All of these countries account for about 50% of twitter users. A higher friends and followers count can be seen in the .jp domain (for Japan) according to the authors this may be because these technologies are more popular in Japan.
Learning the geographical characteristics was very important which lead me to think about the language characteristics. The article mentioned that most tweets in Japan are written in Japanese which leaves most of the English tweeters out of the loop. This also occurs in German, Italian, Portuguese and other languages. However, in the latest presidential elections event in Iran or the events in Honduras, I noticed that most of the tweets were in English, which lets me to believe that if an international issue arise, the main language use to advocate, mobilize, informed and interact is the English language. Perhaps this is because three of the top countries that tweet are the US, UK an Canada.
The authors also examined the interface source used for tweeting. About 60% of the tweets came from the Web which includes the twitter.com, mobile devises and instant messages accounted for 14% (7% each), custom application like twitterrific, RSS feeds/blogs, twhirl, nitter, on line social networks and movetwitter accounted for 22% and only 1.2 % accounted for Facebook. Even thought the percentage of Facebook seems low, it shows that either Facebook is one of the online social networks that uses the Twitter application the most or that Facebook users tweet more that other online social network users.
All these elements above are very important to consider if Twitter is to be used as a tool for organizations and business. Besides the geographical location, culture and language need to be consider to forecast the success of the use of Twitter as a tool to be incorporated as part of the business model.
Krishnamurthy, B., Gill, P., and Arlitt, M. (August 2008). A few chirps about twitter. In Proceedings of the First Workshop on Online Social Networks (Seattle, WA, USA, August 18 – 18, 2008). WOSP ‘08. ACM, New York, NY, 19-24. DOI= http://doi.acm.org.offcampus.lib.washington.edu/10.1145/1397735.1397741